25th August to 9th September 2018

Preparation for this YAP tour started in November 2017 when I attended the YAP Convenors meeting in Maintal, Germany. I had proposed the start and end dates as well as the start and end points and 18 Tour Members for the tour and this was accepted by the convenors. I was extremely pleased to hear in April that the tour was already fully subscribed. Sadly there was one late withdrawal.

Starting in Johannesburg and ending in Durban left me with a lot of decisions as to where, when and how the tour should proceed. It was exciting making contact with the 41’ers around the possible route plans and to hear of the numerous activities proposed for the Yap Tour. Sharing their much appreciated enthusiasm for the YAP Program made deciding on an acceptable schedule so much easier.

The Route that we eventually used is: Johannesburg for 1 night, Witbank for 2 nights, Pretoria for 1 night, Kroonstad for 2 nights, Harrismith for 2 nights, Pietermaritzburg/Hilton for 2 nights, Durban North for 2 nights and Richards Bay for 3 nights.

NOW, what to do in these cities and towns? …………. But you would not believe how much there is to do in these places when the 41’ers get involved.

Yachting at Witbank Dam (Wind permitting), Columbus Stainless and Children feeding scheme in Middleburg, Union Buildings and Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, Cradle of Humankind & Sterkefontein Caves at Maropeng, Moqhaka Council meeting, Boskoppie Lion project and Strikes Pub and Grub in Kroonstad, Clarens village, Platberg “Donkey Pass”Hike, Buffalo project and Bushman paintings in Harrismith, Phat Chef breakfast and Zip lining in the Drakensberg, Hilton College School, Nelson Mandela Capture site in PMB/Hilton, Bowls and Brewery Tour in Toti, Umhlanga Rocks, Ushaka Marine World, Durban Beach and Moses Mabhida swing in Durban, Beach Bums in La Mercey, Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve Bus Safari and the St Lucia Lake Cruise. Could we possible fit any more into this? The answer was “Yes”, every night was filled with good food and home hosting. Braais, Potjies, Lasagnes, Spits, Build a Burgers, Hot Curries, Wraps, Bobotie, Malva Pudding, Melktert, Koeksusters, Bunny Chows and Amarula.

The YAPs had tremendous fun and fellowship in all the host venues and wonderful friendships and connections were formed between the Yaps, the 41’ers and wives, the 41er kids, the Tablers and wives throughout the tour. I hope this fun and fellowship will translate into the YAPs wanting to become Round Tablers, Circlers or even marrying Round Tablers in their respective countries.

The YAPs had many laughs during the tour. To mention a few;

  • Wearing hard hats on 4 different occasions (part of the extreme tour program).
  • Bushpeeing along the road.
  • Riding/sitting on the back of open vehicles (bakkies).
  • Eating “Droewors and Biltong”, “Chicken Feet”, “Bunny Chows” and “Pap” (no salad).
  • Having a cold KFC lunch in a “Viewing Hide” in the iMfolozi Game Reserve.
  • Wearing leopard vests to the “Out of Africa” party
  • The many laughs created by Kenny Kynoch, our hilarious bus driver.

The only headaches were those created by the YAPs not drinking sufficient water and eating tons of fruit.

Do I believe the tour lived up to the “Aims and Objects” of the YAP program? This would be a resounding YES!  We had 17 young individuals from 8 different countries arrive and meet in a strange country. We had 8 different “Nation Days”, where we learnt about the other country’s culture, food and drink. This was all happening while the YAPs were experiencing South African culture and hospitality at its best. The YAPs sat together, spoke together, worked together and most of all become firm friends and even shed tears when they said their goodbye’s at the airport.

The extra benefits created by the YAP Program is, that many 41ers have rekindled their Table friendships and there is a renewed enthusiasm amongst them to further the ideals of the 41ers Association. My heartfelt thanks goes to everyone that has contributed to the success of this YAP tour. “May the hinges of friendship never rust!

Nico McNamara

SA Yap Tour Convenor and Tour Leader